June 04, 2006

Ladies And Gentlemen, Children Of All Ages

I’ve been blessed with a love for the circus. My grandpa loved the circus, my dad loves the circus, my siblings and I love the circus, and love for the circus has been passed down to my nephews as well. I was taught at a very early age that if I ever wanted to escape life, to disappear completely, I should join the circus. I must have known that information would become useful some day because whenever things get a little too difficult to bear I still toy with the idea of becoming a fancy pony lady with a big feather plume on my head.

Today I came across
this article, which made me spit in disgust. An animal rights group is actually taking the circus to court for their alleged abuse of elephants.* Who the hell sues the circus? Don’t they know that the people in the circus are nonexistent? They’ve escaped life! They’ve disappeared completely! They come into your town, sweep you off your feet with their spectacular performances, and leave your town in the middle of the night when no one is watching. Who would even think to sue them? Who else but the animal rights people?

Apparently members of the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the Animal Welfare Institute feel the elephants should no longer be included in The Greatest Show On Earth. Among other things, they feel the chains used on the elephants’ legs are cruel and unusual punishment. I don’t know, seems like a good idea to me. I mean, if they want to keep these giant animals from wandering off, I think shackles would be pretty effective. It’s not like the elephant trainers are cutting the legs off the elephants to keep them from roaming.

Also, if these activists really loved all animals, why are they focusing only on the elephants? They don’t seem to be concerned about the lions trained to not chew when there is a perfectly delicious human head inserted into their mouths. They don’t bother with the horses that are trained to prance in circles within the circus ring to such an extent that the poor things can’t ever walk in a straight line anymore. What kind of animal rights activists would exclude these animals from their law suit? Prejudiced ones, I think.

Seriously though, what has become of us, that we point a judgmental finger at the circus? It’s been the only show that has consistently entertained people of all ages throughout many generations. Where else will you see death-defying feats of magnificent proportion? Where else will you see wild animals behaving like domesticated poodles, and domesticated poodles behaving like Las Vegas dancing girls? Nowhere but the circus.

And so to the animal rights activists, for threatening the only escape I’ve held dear to my heart for lo these many years, I cast upon ye the Ringmaster’s curse: May all your days be circus days!**

* It is a known fact that the elephant is regarded by circus people as good luck. They even wear bracelets of braided elephant hair too keep the good luck with them. Why they would abuse such wondrous beasts of good fortune is beyond me.

** When addressed to common people, this phrase is actually known as the Ringmaster’s blessing, bestowing upon the audience a lifetime of excitement and joy. When uttered to a circus person, however, the phrase is regarded as a curse inflicting upon him a lifetime of very hard and dangerous work. When I say it to the animal rights activists I mean to say, “may you be run over by a tricycle driven by a bear in a conical party hat. And when he looks over his shoulder to see what he’s done, may he pedal backwards to run over you again.”


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